Makin Waves’ Record of the Week: Overlake’s ‘Fall’


The cover of Overlake’s album, “Fall.”

Overlake: “Fall”Bar/None)You have to hand it to Hoboken-based Bar/None Records for their loyalty to the New Jersey music scene. In addition to lots of love for The Feelies (see interview here), they also recently put out the Bruce Steinhardt (Bouncing Souls)-produced punk trio The Moms and have been in talks with the great New Brunswick band Sink Tapes.

Now they’re about to release Fall, the label debut for the noisy Jersey City dream-pop trio Overlake. Fans of Dinosaur Jr., The Cure, early Pink Floyd and Bar/None’s own Yo La Tengo will enjoy vocalist Tom Barrett’s pop overtones and alternatingly sentimental, morose lyrics beaten and broken by his swirling, bending, dissonant guitar mash, then put back together by the driving, propulsive rhythms of bassist Lysa Opfer and drummer Nick D’Amore.

The yin-yang of this project also is found in Barrett’s whispery vocals and Opfer’s angelic backing vox cooing in one ear, as delay-drenched guitar punches the other. The Dick Dale-like guitar bends of “Gardener’s Bell,” the scrawling, booming battle that is “And Again” and the squawking, ringing, Beatles-tinged closer “Goodbye” — especially the buzzsaw ending — are my favorite parts of the eight-song album. But Fall is solid throughout, thanks in part to engineer/co-producer Tom Beaujour (Nada Surf, Jennifer O’Connor) helping to keep the band’s endearing pop elements from drowning in waves of delicious noise. Kudos also go to Claudia Chopek (Bruce Springsteen, Moby, Norah Jones) for tastefully adding a mournful violin in spots, especially on the pining “Pines on the Beach.”

Having toured nationwide since mid-April, Overlake are returning home to rock May 10 at Ortlieb’s in Philadelphia, with We Have Ghosts and Janelle; May 11 at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch, with Magic Mountain and Secretary Legs, and at their record release party on May 12 at the Mercury Lounge in New York, with HEAVEN and Dead Stars.

Bob Makin is the reporter at and a former managing editor of and still a contributor to The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at


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